On the Issues

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I am running for US Senate because for over a decade Wisconsinites have had only one U.S. Senator fighting for them in Washington.

I want to give Tammy Baldwin a true partner in DC to put money back in the pockets of hard working Wisconsinites and bring some real change and real results for the people of Wisconsin. I have a proven track record of delivering for the people of Wisconsin – whether it’s creating good union jobs, paying a $15-dollar minimum wage, fighting for social justice, or making it more accessible for people to register to vote. I don’t just talk about the issues, I have delivered on them.

In both urban and rural areas, people across Wisconsin are struggling with many of the same issues. Whether it is inadequate access to affordable healthcare, unsafe drinking water, a lack of access to high-speed broadband, crumbling infrastructure, educational challenges, or vanishing economic opportunity, our communities need help. I will do everything that I can to help raise wages, bring jobs and investment back to Wisconsin, and enact legislation that will make people’s lives better no matter where they live.

I am going to the Senate to get real results for Wisconsin. I will fight every day to bring back resources to our state and deliver legislation that will help Wisconsinites in their everyday lives.

Voting Rights

Republicans lost the 2020 Presidential election, and they are trying to find ways to prevent that from happening again, no matter how unconstitutional. We are now seeing unprecedented attempts at gerrymandering and making it harder for people to vote.

I will be an active advocate for any legislation that will make it easier for people to vote. The Republican attacks on our democracy that we are seeing across the country are completely unacceptable and the federal government must step in and stop them. I strongly support both the ‘John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act’ and the ‘For the People Act’. In states like Wisconsin, when our Republican legislators tried this, we were lucky enough to have Governor Tony Evers there to veto it. Other states aren’t that lucky, so we must set a federal standard to protect voting rights nationwide.

I strongly support expanding access to voting, protecting communities from voter suppression, and reinstating the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. Nothing less than the future of American democracy is at risk.


Climate Change

Climate change is accelerating, and we are running out of time to solve this existential crisis. We cannot afford to have leaders that are unwilling to do something about it.

I support transitioning to 100% clean electricity by 2035. America is one of the wealthiest countries on earth, and it’s time we lead with both our technological ability and our values to combat climate change. It’s time to leave the old ways of thinking behind and transition to a clean energy economy that creates good paying union jobs and opportunities to bolster our economy moving forward.

We need to pass President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan that contains real, substantive investments to fight climate change. We need to prioritize electrification and decarbonizing our electricity, while investing in a nationwide electric car infrastructure and large scale battery manufacturing here in the United States. I want to see Wisconsin become a national leader in green manufacturing.

I stand with President Biden and applaud his decision to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, but I also believe there is so much more to be done to truly reduce domestic climate emissions, and that starts with holding big corporations accountable.

If we are going to reduce domestic climate emissions by at least 50% within the next ten years, then we must increase the United States contribution to the Green Climate Fund, invest in additional research and development, and share technology and technical assistance with countries across the world. Climate change affects everyone, so solutions should come from everyone. We are in this together, and we need to stop talking about change and actually make it happen, before it’s too late.

I also support the efforts from the Biden administration to repeal the Trump rollbacks and create strong standards to reduce methane pollution. A 65% reduction by 2025 is attainable, and 90% by 2030 is possible if we focus on the task instead of engaging in partisan bickering.


Creating Good Jobs and Raising Wages

We have shown that progressive values are good for business and the economy. In building the Bucks’ Arena and the surrounding Deer District, we brought together a public/private partnership that emphasized workforce development. At least 43% of workers on the arena project consisted of people underemployed or unemployed over the past five years and 30% of service contracts were awarded to minority and disadvantaged businesses.

We also don’t just talk about a $15 minimum wage; we turned our promise into action. The Bucks pay all our employees at the Bucks’ Arena family-sustaining wages because we know that paying our employees fairly is not only the right thing to do, but also translates to higher productivity. Progressive values are good business.

We also ensured 80% of the materials and services for building the arena were sourced from Wisconsin. We created a great business, brought economic opportunity to the area, and prioritized progressive values. In the Senate I will join Tammy Baldwin and insist that the federal government buys construction materials that are made in the U.S.A. for all future infrastructure projects.

Instead of handing out corporate tax breaks across the board, we should only be rewarding companies that are doing the right thing. That means paying more than a $15 an hour minimum wage, keeping their supply operations in the United States, and being active partners in the communities that they do business in.

Congress must also pass the PRO Act to ​​protect unions, empower workers, and hold big businesses accountable. Progressive values are good for business and the PRO Act will ensure that projects like what he did in Milwaukee can happen across the country.


Environmental Justice

For too long, we have deprioritized marginalized communities that have taken the brunt of the environmental impact from climate change, while not enforcing existing environmental protection laws or punishing those that break them.

We need to substantially update and modernize our environmental protection laws to meet the challenges of today and enforce stronger consequences that actually dissuade people and corporations from violating these tougher standards. Corporations have shown us time and time again that when the penalties are too light, they will not always act in the public welfare. That is where strong government enforcement must come in, and in the Senate, I will fight for more stringent environmental guardrails.

As we fight climate change, we must remember that communities of color too often bear the brunt of its devastating effects, while sharing in few of the economic opportunities presented by the clean energy economy. We cannot have environmental justice without racial justice, and it is clear that racism has been ingrained in every part of our governmental system. Equity must be at the center of reshaping of this new economy so that America can truly be a land of equal opportunity, not a country where the zip code you’re born into can define your health outcomes.


Healthcare

I believe that healthcare is a human right, and we need to ensure that everyone has access to quality affordable healthcare. I support adding a robust public option to the Affordable Care Act because I believe that this is the fastest way to get everyone covered. We also must ensure that the public option is set up so people can seamlessly transition in and out of the public plan.

The lack of universal health care is also bad for our economy and stifles innovation. Tying healthcare to an employer creates barriers for workers to leave their jobs to seek a better job, or start a company themselves. Access to universal health care will free workers to take a chance, get a better education, train for new skills, or even start the next great Wisconsin business.

Socioeconomic status should not be an indicator of whether a person has access to healthcare. Likewise, healthcare should not be a barrier for a person with variable employment but wants to ensure that their family is still covered.

But we can’t stop there. Healthcare simply costs too much, especially for seniors. Even as they are covered by Medicare, Wisconsin seniors are getting nickeled and dimed by rising out of pocket costs. That’s why I support adding vision, hearing and dental coverage to Medicare, and why I support allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription costs.

We also need to lower the cost of prescription drugs for everyone. Americans pay more than anyone else in the world for the exact same medications. We must find a new way to lower the prices of the medications that so many Americans depend on.


Reproductive Justice

Like the majority of Wisconsinites, I believe that every person should have autonomy over their reproductive health. In the U.S. Senate, I will fight to ensure that everyone has access to inclusive, high-quality, and affordable healthcare, and that includes abortion and reproductive care. Abortion remains safe and legal in Wisconsin, and I will work at the federal lever to make sure that our laws protect these essential rights, regardless of who is sitting on the Supreme Court.

I will also defend against the continued efforts to limit funding for Planned Parenthood and other reproductive healthcare facilities that provide affordable care to people across the country. I am extremely proud of my wife, Lauren, for her work at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin to ensure that access to health care – from birth control and cancer screenings, to safe, legal abortion – is protected for individuals and families across Wisconsin


Racial and Social Justice

2020 further emphasized the scale of injustice across the United States, whether it was violence against Black Americans, attacks on voting rights, or disparities that were underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic.

I was proud to march shoulder to shoulder in the streets of Milwaukee after Jacob Blake was shot and proud to back up the Bucks players who protested on the court bringing needed national attention to this issue.

I am committed to passing legislation that furthers racial justice, equity, and harassment free places not only in Wisconsin but across the United States. People of color are disproportionately marginalized by the systemic racism ingrained in our society. Systemic racism can be seen everywhere from policing practices to environmental impacts on communities of color to housing and employment discrimination. As the next Senator from Wisconsin, I will prioritize racial and social justice, and ensure that we are creating economic opportunities for everyone, regardless of where they live or what they look like.


LGBTQ+ Equity

All LGBTQ+ Americans deserve equal rights and protections under the law. We still have a lot of work to do to make this a reality, and in the Senate, I will fight to make that happen.

Right now, there are over a dozen states where employers can legally fire workers simply for being gay, and even more where hotels can refuse to service, or landlord can refuse tenants just because they are gay. Not only is that just plain wrong, but it also means that LGBTQ+ Americans face a confusing web of local and state laws that make it difficult to understand what their rights are.

I am a strong supporter of the Equality Act, which will explicitly prohibit discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression in all 50 states. This bill has passed the House but has not yet made it through the Senate. I will work in the Senate to get it passed as soon as possible.


Public Safety & Police Reform

Public safety is primarily a local law enforcement issue, but the federal government does have an important funding role to play. We need to make sure law enforcement agencies aren’t overburdened and instead expand funding for intervention services so that law enforcement can focus on imminent threats to the public. We need to increase funding for counseling, mental health, addiction, and homelessness services so police only need to focus on imminent threats to the public. We also need to reinvest in our police training too. This money should come from the federal government to support overstretched municipal budgets.

Along with increasing funding for our public safety programs, we must also increase accountability. Congress should act immediately to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. This bill would ban chokeholds, carotid holds, and “no-knock” search warrants, create a national database of police misconduct, and end qualified immunity. These are all very important steps in reforming how we handle policing in this country.

Another less discussed and very important aspect of this legislation is the ending of the militarization of our police forces that occurred through President Bush’s administration pushing out equipment returned directly from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to local law enforcement.


Access to Reliable Internet

Broadband Internet is critical infrastructure that is equally as important as roads and plumbing. In the last almost two years during COVID, we have seen first-hand what a lack of access to affordable broadband really means for schools, healthcare facilities and small businesses as we transitioned to a completely online world. Lack of access to high-speed Internet is a problem in both rural and urban communities across Wisconsin.

We need the federal and state government to ensure that all Wisconsinites have access to high speed, accessible and affordable internet. Every Wisconsinite should be on an equal footing when it comes to opportunity, and universal broadband access would help bridge that gap. Our students are Wisconsin’s future, and if we don’t invest in them, then they won’t be able to invest in Wisconsin, which is one of the many reasons why I will fight for equitable broadband access across our state.


Campaign Finance Reform

We need to get big money out of politics, and that starts with overturning Citizens United so we can end unlimited and dark money in politics. For too long legislators have been trapped in a cycle of constant fundraising to enter and stay in office, limiting the time they have to do their actual job. The For the People Act is a great first step in that direction, and in the Senate, I will fight to pass it.

One of the first things I did at the start of my campaign was take the End Citizens United Pledge and announced that my campaign is not taking any corporate PAC money. Wisconsinites deserve representation out in Washington, not corporate special interests, which is why we need a system overhaul and overturning Citizens United is exactly how we can get legislators legislating again.


Filibuster Reform

We must eliminate the filibuster. We elect members of Congress to get results, not engage in stalemates. In 2020, voters across the country elected Democrats so they could enact real, actionable change, and the only way we can follow through on that promise is by actually passing legislation through Congress.

We need action and we need it now. Abolishing the filibuster will help us pass critical legislation now and will result in a better functioning government that will allow Democrats to deliver on promises that have been made over the past few election cycles.


Infrastructure

President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan will bring good, union jobs to Wisconsin and help with desperately needed infrastructure improvements across the state. We will finally be able to fix our crumbling roads and bridges, fund environmental remediation projects, and prioritize broadband to get all Wisconsinites covered with reliable internet.

The Build Back Better Plan also contains real, substantive investments to fight climate change. We need to electrify everything and decarbonize our electricity, while investing in a nationwide electric car infrastructure and large scale battery manufacturing here in the United States.

Fixing our infrastructure also means upgrading public transportation systems across our state. People across the country rely on public transportation to have access to family sustaining jobs, healthcare, and a good education. It is vital that we not only protect public transportation but expand and modernize it. I am a strong advocate for passenger rail that connects Wisconsin with our Midwest neighbors and beyond as well as reinvesting in other forms of public transportation across the state.


Israel

Israel is dear to my heart, especially having grown up in a religious household. I understand the unique security risks facing Israel, and I will be a strong, committed friend to the Israeli people from Day One.

The United States must continue its historic and special role as Israel’s strongest ally. The United States has a unique responsibility and must play an active role in resetting the peace talks. As Senator, I will work with the Biden Administration as an active partner to achieve lasting peace through a two-state solution.

Any agreement must be built on Israel’s fundamental right to exist and the guarantee that Israel is protected and able to defend itself. I believe that any agreement must be directly negotiated by Israeli and Palestinian leaders, with the United States playing a supportive role.

It is also vitally important that this agreement is not pre-negotiated, and all parties avoid setting preconditions for the negotiations. With that said, any agreement should include recognition by Palestinian authorities of Israel’s right to exist, forceful condemnation of violence perpetrated by extremist groups, and an end to settlement expansion and annexation.


Protecting Public Lands

I strongly support keeping public lands in public hands. I believe that in order to make real, lasting change we need to protect and preserve all our public lands, because ownership of public lands is an incredible birthright of every American citizen. I strongly believe that protecting 30% of the United States’ lands by 2030 is attainable.

I strongly oppose all efforts to undermine the Antiquities Act and, in the Senate, will ensure it stays in place. We must use the full power of this law to make sure we go from permanently protecting 12% of America’s land to 30%. I will fully advocate for the Administration’s use of national monuments as part of the President’s protection tools under the Antiquities Act and will push to change the law to ensure once a President has used that power to protect public lands, it cannot be reversed by a future President.


Tax Reform

We need to think differently about our tax policy.  Instead of handing out corporate tax breaks across the board, we should only be rewarding companies that are doing the right thing. That means paying more than a $15 an hour minimum wage, keeping their supply operations in the United States, and being active partners in the communities that they do business in.

I want to bring a new way of thinking that ensures that the wealthy pay their fair share while also prioritizing raising wages.Just increasing taxes on wealthy Americans will not put more money into the pockets of working people. We must focus on raising wages just as much as fixing the tax code.


Unions

Unions make businesses better. Unions protect our workers, and make workplaces safer, stronger, and better. We need to create a workers’ bill of rights to safeguard workers’ right to fair working hours, safe working conditions, and humane treatment. Workers’ well-being should not be dependent on who holds power. We need to safeguard unions and protect workers for generations to come.

Congress must work to pass the PRO Act to ​​protect unions, empower workers, and hold big businesses accountable. When we built the Bucks’ stadium in Milwaukee, we ensured that all the labor was union labor from Wisconsin. Progressive values are good for business and the PRO Act will ensure that projects like what he did in Milwaukee can happen across the country.

We are currently one of the only campaigns in the country that has a unionized campaign staff because we practice what we preach. When you look at who to vote for, pay attention to how they run their campaigns and businesses.